Anticipated Hampton U. cafeteria: Out with the old and in with new

By Jalisa Stanislaus

Disgusting, dirty, outdated, unsanitary, atrocious, a rip off and just, OK are all adjectives that a handful of Hampton University students use to describe Virginia Cleveland dining hall.

Virginia Cleveland Hall, remains Hampton’s oldest women’s residence hall (1874) and is one of the most historic buildings on the university’s campus. The building currently houses both of the campuses dining facilities (The big and the small cafe).

Although the building is historic and beautiful, many Hamptonians are ready for a more modern place to eat.

Rumors and speculation about a new dining facility has been buzzing around the campus since 2007. During the 2010-11 school year, construction of the cafeteria began and excitement spread throughout the campus. Over the summer much progress was made on the structure of the cafeteria, located on Queen Street. Students seem to be becoming more anxious to see the completion of their new dining facility.
“The location couldn’t be more perfect,” says Chantalle Jackson, a senior biology major.

The dining hall is located on the waterfront and is supposed to represent the absolute best cuisine and an exquisite dining experience.

It’s supposed to be a three-story 100,000 square foot facility with two dining halls, which will seat 1,500 people and another hall for entertainment events that will seat 1,150 people.

In 2007 Hampton University launched a “New Cafeteria Campaign,” in hopes of getting alumni to donate to the project. In total, $5 million was donated by alumni and other organizations.

Antoinette Trott, a junior political science major from Philadelphia, said that “you do not get your money’s worth, when eating at the cafe. The environment is nasty, as well as the type of food that they provide.”
However, she is extremely excited for the arrival of the new dining facility. She predicts that the food is going to be of the same quality, but she welcomes the new environment and scenery that the new cafe is supposed to offer.

Ronald Smith, a psychology major from Harlem, New York, said that he “loves the cafeteria.” He regrets moving off campus because he misses the convenience. “I enjoyed everything; breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

When the new cafeteria opens, Smith said he plans on investing in a meal plan, so that he can “get the next best thing to a home-cooked meal.”

The new and improved dining hall is expected to be completed by March, reported the Hampton University website. Many students are ready to say goodbye to their outdated cafeteria in Virginia Cleveland, and hello to their contemporary facility on the waterfront.

The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

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